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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947

    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index
    Release No. 09-046

    April 9, 2009


    LOS ANGELES – A Westlake Village man has pleaded guilty to federal
    charges of distributing narcotics for selling hallucinogenic mushrooms that were
    used by a group of young people, including a 17-year-old girl who took the “magic
    mushrooms” and was later fatally struck by a vehicle on the Ventura Freeway.
    Steven Thomas Roman, 30, of Westlake Village, pleaded guilty late
    yesterday to three felony charges, including distribution of a controlled substance
    to a person under 21 years of age resulting in death.

    The charge of distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death
    carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Roman faces a
    potential life sentence when he is sentenced on August 3 by United States District
    Judge Percy Anderson.

    By pleading guilty, Roman admitted a series of facts related to an August
    2004 drug transaction in Thousand Oaks that led to the death of the 17-year-old
    girl. One young person ordered about a quarter pound of mushrooms, which
    Roman agreed to sell for $100. After eating the mushrooms, the girl, who is
    identified in court documents as V.N., began having severe hallucinations. During
    the early morning hours of August 15, the girl was walking naked on the Ventura
    Freeway in Newbury Park when she was struck and killed by a motorist.
    Investigators determined that the motorist was not responsible for the girl’s death
    and that she had drugs in her system, including the active ingredient in
    hallucinogenic mushrooms.

    Roman has been in custody since being arrested by Ventura County
    authorities on September 10, 2008. When he pleaded guilty yesterday, Roman
    also pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of a controlled substance,
    admitting that he sold ecstasy on two occasions in August 2008, sales that
    prompted his arrest by local authorities.

    The case against Roman is the result of an investigation by the Ventura
    County Sheriff’s Department, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, the
    Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration.


    Release No. 9-046
    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index